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Flatsawn Padouk As Neck Through?


exafro
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In my experience padauk is *very* stiff, and notably stable, so I'd be pretty comfortable using it flatsawn. This based on one neck ,and a few slices re-sawn from a body blank, so it's hardly an exhaustive sample, but I was very impressed with it's stability comapared to the maple and mahogany I've worked with.

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I agree with Mattia. The flatsawn paduak could work just fine, and no doubt there will be some examples when people will tell you its worked fine for them. But laminations and carbon fibre are bloody good insurance to make sure it works fine and you have a stable neck.

Oh, I recently made a one peice flatsawn paduak neck (not neck through)with no CF and it worked fine for me :D Actually it hasnt, the action has become quite high over the past few weeks, just needs an adjustment of a truss rod in this case but i wouldn't have had to bother if i had laminated and used CF, and who knows how often i will have to play with the truss rod on this one, it seems like its going to be a regular mover to me.

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Granted, CF rods are a pretty foolproof way of insuring a good stiff neck, but I think people tend to forget that countless instruments have been produced with flatsawn necks (maple by Fender, mahogany by Gibson) and worked just fine. Quartered wood is preferable, but with a decent trussrod you can use flatsawn till the cows come home, provided it's dry, well seasoned and stabilised wood.

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Setch: that's certainly true. And for tropical woods (mahogany) in particular, the difference in stiffness isn't all that huge, and for mahogany, the interlocked grain means flatsawn wood is pretty stable anyway. Maple...less so.

All truss rods are there for is adjustability, not stiffness. For stiffness, you add Carbon fibre. CF also helps a little with stability, but grain orientation/lamination is what will really define stability.

The way I look at it: it's easy enough to find neck stock material that's quartersawn, and it doesn't have to cost much. And a bit of extra stability in a neck never hurt anyone. The amount of stiffness is a personal thing, of course; I've had a very good strat player comment on how 'stiff' the neck on the red PRS-type GOTM entry compared to his strat, while I felt it was one of the 'floppiest' CF reinforced necks I've made, largely due to the length. He was used to the feel of his flatsawn, unreinforced maple strat neck, which was much more elastic, which he used to his advantage while playing (pulling on the neck, bending it). Me, I'm not a fan. But it's a very personal thing.

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I find this to be a really interesting. You have two solid opinions here. Both Setch and Mattia are sharp guys. I have had experience with well dried Padauk, and find it to be very strong and stable. I believe flatsawn material would have sufficient strength for a neck. If you add CF you will improve the strength further. You would improve the strength further by using quartersawn wood. I believe you would gain stability if you laminate as opposed to using a single piece. So it is not a question of will it work, it is just the degree of optimizing(and adding insurance). Personally I laminate in quartersawn orientaion most of the time. One real issue would be grain run out at the headstock if you use flatsawn and neck angle. Pay close attension to avoid a weak link in this area.

All that said. If you prefer quartersawn (for your design), and you are only using flat because it is what you have. Get the material you want. Quartersawn Padauk is very easy to find, and is dirt cheap.

Peace,Rich

P.S. Mattia- A truss rod will add strength and stiffness. Try bending a CF rod, then try bending your truss rod in the same fasion.

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P.S. Mattia- A truss rod will add strength and stiffness. Try bending a CF rod, then try bending your truss rod in the same fasion.

It's all a matter of preference, ultimately, and both approaches work fine. Thing with truss rods is that they are, by their nature, mobile, and so provide highly variable amounts of added 'strength'. The strength they add is in countering the deformation by string tension more than anything else, as I see it.

What I mean by 'I don't put a truss rod in for strength' is that that's not the reason it's there. Might be some side benefit is a bit of extra strength, but the amount of reinforcement varies with the amount of tension on the rod. They're there because necks need adjusting, is my view, and in terms of design, that's what I count on them for, little else.

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  • 7 months later...

Way late here, but I'm researching Padouk.....

What about simply cutting the flatsawn Padouk neck blank down the center and glue in a 2-piece bookmatched style with the grain vertical?

I've done this before with a flatsawn piece of Black Limba and it came out looking great and was essentially "quartersawn" due to the vertical grain.

Assuming you've got a 4 x 40 x 2 blank of Padouk, cut it into two 2x40x2 strips, flip'em over, and glue. Asside from the wood lost to the saw blade and planer, you'll have plenty of wood left for a neck.

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